Live at the Apollo
Saturday, 9.30pm, UKTV What a gift the ability to perform stand-up comedy is. You don’t need an instrument, an amplifier, an ear for pitch or even a tuner. You just walk on, grab the house microphone and away you go. Of course you do need great original material, fantastic timing, tremendous character and a degree of fearlessness. A hide like a rhinoceros, especially at the beginning as you cut your teeth, is probably useful as well. Too many stand-up comedy moments on television feature extremely short sets. You might see a minute or two by someone brilliant on The David Letterman Show (when Dave’s not hogging all the attention with routines of his own), but that’s likely to be your bloomin’ lot. How refreshing then that Live at the Apollo, a British program of stand-up performances filmed live at the Hammersmith Apollo theatre in west London, lets some of the world’s finest comics rip with sets of up to a half-hour. Due to an administrative hitch, the wrong discs were sent to most reviewers, including here at The Australian, which may explain why some other guides point to performances tonight by Micky Flanagan, Seann Walsh and Jason Byrne. Trust me, you’ll see Chatty Man Alan Carr, Andi Osho and Patrick Kielty. I mention this only because the switcheroo gave me an excuse to watch nearly two hours of the finest stand-up I’ve seen. They flew away like notes in the wind. Highly recommended.